A superstar wants out for months, denied it, but quietly wanted a trade and even caused a ruckus behind the scenes.
Carmelo Anthony has gone through a tough nine months, so one would think once he got to New York, his luck would turn, right? You would have thought the team would be better because it has two superstars, right?
In fact, Anthony’s tenure as a Knick has been anything but fantastic. In the 18 games Anthony has played in a Knicks uniform, New York is 6-12.
While Anthony has played at his normal level (25.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game), the Knicks' defense has been concerning. Ranking second in pace is great, but New York hasn’t been able to run the basketball up and down the court, mainly because it doesn’t benefit Anthony’s game.
That fact, along with lingering injuries to Chauncey Billups and Ronny Turiaf as well as lack of a bench, means this Knicks team won’t be getting better any time soon.
Within 10 days, the Knicks went from a team everyone assumed was going to be “dangerous” in the playoffs to a team that might barely get into the postseason by the skin of their teeth.
For all purposes, you can put part of the blame on Carmelo Anthony.
He doesn’t fit into the offense, nor has he shown the will to fit into it for the rest of the season. However, there are a couple of other things to point to as well.
How about Mike D’Antoni? D’Antoni’s constant rush for offense leaves little to no respect for D. The Knicks snatched Corey Brewer from Minnesota, which seemed like a nice move, only to waive him because he wasn’t a strong offensive player.
Then the Knicks added Derrick Brown, a nice role player. What happens to Brown? He doesn’t play because he doesn’t provide much scoring. It’s even got to the point where Jared Jeffries is starting some nights over Ronny Turiaf. Is that a offensive adjustment?
No, it’s just that Turiaf coming off the bench on a team with no big men baffles me.
People forget the Knicks went through years of blowing up the team, moving players for cap space only to come up with Amar'e Stoudemire (who was the perfect fit, but still wasn’t the piece New York wanted) in free agency.
In order to win games and be successful, D’Antoni must increase the rotation from eight to nine. You're probably wondering what adding one player does to a team’s rotation.
It does wonders, actually.
For the Knicks, you have eight players in a daily game set with five averaging 33-36 minutes a night. With back-to-backs and road trips, you simply cannot do that.
It’s honestly inhumane. If the Knicks go into the offseason looking to add another couple players to max out a nine-man rotation, they can be a stronger team next year.
Also, the Knicks will need a new point guard.
I love Chauncey Billups. To be honest, he was the reason I was excited about the trade because Billups is a leader who can control two superstars like Stoudemire and Anthony, but he cannot run this fast-paced offense at his age.
Toney Douglas is a dynamo scoring off the bench, but he isn’t the answer at point guard either. In fact, I’d argue he cannot run the point guard position and that Landry Fields is the true backup point guard of the team.
With the Knicks having a first-round draft pick in 2011, the team should consider a true point guard. If New York decides that Billups’ $14 million option isn’t worth it, they will need a new starting point guard, and the market this year will be scarce.
As a Knicks fan, I knew this trade wouldn’t be the greatest thing this year. The biggest thing is how the Knicks transition next season, whether it be a new coach, a new system or new players.
Let it be known: The 'Melo deal is just step two of three.
Check Out NBA STATE OF MIND for more of my writing. Thank you!
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!